Pelham Preparatory Academy

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Close-knit community; partnerships with Lehman College and University of Vermont.

The Downside

Limited course offerings; metal detectors.

Our Review

Pelham Preparatory Academy, a small school housed in the Christopher Columbus Educational Campus, provides students with a close-knit community and good advice on college. Starting in 9th grade students write drafts of college application essays and tour college campuses. Students may take courses for free at Lehman College, which also sponsors SAT prep classes for older students and a summer bridge program for incoming 9th graders. Though many students arrive ill-prepared for high school, over 90 percent graduate in four years, which is well above the citywide rate.

Founded in 2002 as a program within Columbus High School, Pelham Prep became a full-fledged school within a few years. Principal Carlos Santiago took the helm in October, 2011 and has worked at Pelham Prep since 2003 as a Spanish teacher and assistant principal.

The school does a good job of creating a supportive environment. Classrooms are clustered together by grade, which means most students spend a good portion of their day in one section of the schools home on the fourth floor. Students are encouraged to stick around after their last class. If they dont have an activity scheduled, they may hang out in the Student Union, a classroom set aside for students to socialize, do homework and get extra help.

One student who transferred from the larger school in the building, Columbus High School, said he was much happier at Pelham Prep They make an effort to help students, he said. That sentiment was reflected in the 2011-12 Learning Environment Survey. A majority of students who responded said that they felt safe in their school, got extra help when needed, and were inspired to learn by their teachers. In the same survey, teachers gave high marks to Santiago.

Instruction is pretty traditional, with students sitting in rows and teachers leading the lesson. For instance, in a 10th grade English class we observed, the teacher read aloud from George Orwells Animal Farm, pausing at regular intervals to pose questions to the students, who all appeared to be paying attention.

Course offerings are limited. Advanced Placement (AP) offerings vary from year-to-year, but typically include AP English, Calculus and Spanish. Some are open to students in other schools in the building. Electives also vary year-to-year, but typically include journalism, technology and a marine biology class that covers college-level work, but not for college credit. Spanish is the only foreign language taught.

For variety, students participate in a range of extra-curricular activities including student leadership art, the school newspaper, chess, and culinary arts. There are also PSAL sports teams and five orchestras open to students in all campus schools.

All schools in the building share the cafeteria, library, gymnasiums, auditorium and culinary arts room. Everyone entering the building must pass through metal detectors.

College admissions: Graduates have won scholarships to Bard, Skidmore, Syracuse, the University of Vermont and the University of Tampa. The University of Vermont sponsors student trips to its campus and helps seniors prepare for college interviews and complete applications.

Special education: The school has self-contained and ICT (Integrated Collaborative Teaching) class. There is a small population of roughly 15 English language learners who receive extra support from an English as a second language teacher.

Admissions: Priority to Bronx students or residents who attend an information session. (Laura Zingmond, June 2012)

About the students

Enrollment
493
Asian
5.9%
Black
30.2%
Hispanic
51.5%
White
9.5%
Other
2.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
72%
Students with disabilities
21%
English language learners
4%
Male
47%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the Christopher Columbus Educational Campus with four other schools
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
Yes
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
103%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
93%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
24%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
87%
76% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
18%
18% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
80%
84% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
54%
56% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.8
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
87%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
87%
83% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
78%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
82%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
95%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
84% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual arts
This school has 2 licensed arts teachers in Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
66%
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
50%
49% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
66%
70% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
90%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
9%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
4%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
43%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
88%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
83%
63% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
0% Citywide Average
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
80%
65% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
73%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
90%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
88%
90% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
79%
89% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
73%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Pelham Preparatory Academy
Admissions Method: Limited Unscreened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP English, AP Environmental Science, AP Spanish

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Football, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Gymnastics, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Golf

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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